Monday, June 14, 2010

Zeventeen and OH!!!

Zenyatta did it again on Sunday afternoon at Hollywood Park. She scored another in what is becoming a string of seemingly impossible victories. Zenyatta managed to lug Mike Smith and the 129 she was required to carry past the battling St. Trinians and win the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap. A sixteenth of a mile from the finish it appeared that she was staring down the barrel of her first lifetime defeat. However, Zenyatta is a champion and she displayed that champion's heart for all of us to see once again in surpassing the previous streaks of sixteen in a row that the likes of Citation and Cigar accomplished in the 20th Century.

You must not overlook the effort of St. Trinians in reviewing the events that transpired on Sunday afternoon. She looked for all the world the winner until Zenyatta punched it into overdrive and there was nothing the vanquished five-year-old could do. There is already the possibility existing that the two can meet again in the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar in early August.

Zenyatta was the capper of a fantastic racing weekend that included Rachel Alexandra winning the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis at Churchill Downs in her old-style devastating fashion of leaving the competition behind in her wake. Later on Saturday, Blame overcame the pace scenario in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster, also at Churchill Downs, and passed the horse that set the fractions in Battle Plan to add the Foster to the Clark Handicap last year on his list of impressive wins under the Twin Spires.

Do you realize what this means now? In a sport so starving for stars (ANY KIND OF STARS) to revive any type of interest in it, Thoroughbred Racing might now have four definite stars that could shine throughout the rest of the year. On the male side, Quality Road and Blame are now the standouts following their combined unbeaten start to the year. On the distaff side, Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra are maybe going to reignite their ferocious duel from 2009 and make it a furious fight to the finish. In fact, they would all be undefeated this year but for the two losses the 2009 Horse Of The Year, Rachel Alexandra, suffered in her first two starts.

Quality Road, Blame, Rachel Alexandra, and Zenyatta. Those names may not roll off the tongue like John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but they are a Fab Four nonetheless.

Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!


Amateurcapper said...


RAIL TRIP is poised to join that group of four...his dominant G.2 Californian win set him up beautifully for the Hollywood Gold Cup. A win there and he's deserving of inclusion in that elite group. I think he's a dirt horse disguised as a synthetic-lover.

I'm thinking Ron Ellis may give RAIL TRIP a rest after a back-to-back Gold Cup win in July, but the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in mid-August may also be possible before the break. The Goodwood at Santa Anita in early October will probably be his prep race for the Breeders' Cup Classic in early November.

Michael Chamberlain said...

I couldn't agree more with you about Rail Trip. I think he will prove himself to be just as worthy as the others before the year is out. I also like that setup for his schedule leading up to the Cup.